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The Original Zombies

  • Blog Post by: James Lileks
  • October 12, 2012 - 12:23 PM

Busy day. No column idea yet. You have any? No? Well, you’re no help. 

LANCE LAWSONLet’s check in with Minneapolis’ human lie-detector. According to these strips, the murder rate back in the 40s was at least 350 per year - and every one of the murderers thought he or she could get away with it by telling an elaborate story. There were probably more murders; if they found someone over a body holding a knife, screaming, they probably didn’t call in Lance. Only when the perp was middle-aged and shifty.

 

Solution at the bottom.

 

OH NOES i09 has the most unintentionally hilarious line of the morn” “Bryan Fuller's gritty Munsters reboot meets an ignominious fate.”

That’s what the Munsters needed, right? Grit. Dark and violent and brooding.

So let’s go to the link at shocktilyoudrop.com:

As Halloween nears, NBC turns Friday, October 26 into Fright Night when it premieres the pilot of the much-anticipated Mockingbird Lane (8-9 p.m. ET) - based on executive producer Bryan Fuller’s script and directed by executive producer Bryan Singer.

Mockingbird Lane is a new reimagined version of the classic 1960s comedy The Munsters, now as a visually spectacular one-hour drama with a darker edge and tone. The cast includes Jerry O’Connell as Herman Munster, Portia de Rossi as his wife Lily, Eddie Izzard as Grandpa, Mason Cook as Eddie and Charity Wakefield (“The Raven”) as Marilyn.

How is this an ignominious fate? Because that’s all you’ll see of the show, it seems. There were “creative differences” between the network and the people who did the show; no doubt the network wanted something that was more Munstery. Meaning, fun. That was the point of the original, after all - a kid’s show, really, a broadly comic offering for those who found the vastly superior “Addams Family” a bit too cerebral.

Gomez Addams was really a marvellous character, wasn’t he? A role model for every man: rich, delighted by life, engrossed in his hobbies, a loving father, besotted by his wife. “The Munsters” was just silly, and you can’t watch it without feeling bad for Fred Gwynne.

Then:

 

 

Now.

 

 

Eh. Great them for the old show, though. Did it have lyrics? I’ll bet it did. Searching . . . yes. Of course.

 

When you are walking down the street at night

And behind you theres no one in view

But you hear mysterious feet at night,

Then The Munsters are following you!

 

And so on. Takes some practice to get the meter right, doesn't it. More here.

Why, look at this: the original pilot - in living color.

 

 

Some different cast members, including Happy Derman as the kid. Looks like he really wants to rip someone’s neck apart. Different theme, too. And it's in color, which they didn't do for the show, because they wanted that classic Universal Monster movie look! Sure. The lower costs were no doubt a secondary consideration.

SOLUTION It's simple: The victim held the role in such a way that the frayed end is below his hand instead of above it. To hold it like that he would have had to climb upside down!

It's always the little things that trip them up. Have a grand weekend; see you around.

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